Computed tomography (CT), also referred to as computerized axial tomography (CAT), is a specialized imaging test to visualize different body tissues and organs in detail. Unlike standard x-rays, which take a two dimensional projected picture of the part of the body being examined, the CT has the ability to image that same structure as a series of cross-sectional images. The CT Scan produces clearer, more detailed images of the part of the body being examined than can be accomplished by x-rays and is the preferred cross-sectional imaging test in most cases for examination of the chest, abdomen, pelvis, sinus, ear and some bones.
CT Scan Applications
CT imaging is particularly useful because it can show several types of tissue — lung, bone, soft tissue and blood vessels with great clarity.
What to expect during your exam
You will lie on a scan table that slides slowly into a large CT scanner. The CT technologist will take preliminary scans to help define the area to be imaged. During this time, you will be asked to hold your breath and lie still. Once the area is defined, if your scan requires contrast, you will receive an injection of contrast media through the IV to “highlight” the vascular structures. As the contrast is injected, you may feel a warm flushing sensation or have a metallic taste in your mouth. This is a normal and will pass quickly.
Preparation for your exam
Depending on your particular CT scan, you may be given instructions on food and drink consumption the day before and the morning of the exam. Our staff will provide you with those instructions. Feel free to call us if you have any questions.